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Price bid to set up free school

Model and businesswoman Katie Price wants to set up a free school to help children who are visually-impaired and suffer from other disabilities, it has emerged.

The 34-year-old and her mother Amy have joined forces with other parents to prepare a Government bid to get the school approved in Kent.

Ms Price aims to send her visually-impaired son Harvey, 10, to the special school as the one he goes to faces closure next year, it has been reported.

She said she would not be involved in the running of the proposed school. She told BBC South East: "I am a parent. I haven't used my status at all and I wouldn't because it's not about me, it is about the kids."

The parents of 45 children have reportedly expressed an interest in the school, which would cater for pupils who already have a statement of special educational needs.

Amy Price joined parents at a meeting at the Department for Education (DfE) to press their case for Government funding for the project, and they are expected to learn of a decision in July.

She told the BBC: "If this one is successful and we achieve what we want to, we plan to do it around the country, but we have got to start with this one first."

The first free schools, which are semi-independent state schools set up by parents, teachers, faith groups and other organisations, opened in September last year.

They are not-for-profit establishments set up in response to what local people say they need to improve education in their community.

But they have been criticised by the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, as a "costly and unnecessary experiment" that fails to guarantee a rise in standards for pupils.

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